On March 9th, the Hellenic Center in Bethesda, Maryland was filled to capacity with members attending the talk given by Dr. Sam Chekwas on his latest Greek book titled The Beauty of Feeling Greek. The Nigerian born author spoke fluent Greek and said he was proud to be an adopted Greek. He shared his life story, where in his youth he was exposed to Sophocle’s Antigone, which influenced him tremendously in embracing not only the Greek culture, but the Greek language, and thus began his “Greek Odyssey.” His journey took him to Greece, where he studied Greek philology at the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki and also obtained a DDS degree. Currently, he is a dentist, author, publisher, and teacher of the Greek language. He has published over 800 volumes through his publishing company, Seaburn Books, and has received the Ambassador of Hellenism Award by the Greek government.
In his talk, Dr. Chekwas expressed a valid concern about the maintenance of thefour thousand-year old Greek language, which is slowly fading away. He strongly believes that it should be kept intact and not simplified, and that the modern Greek language is connected to the archaic Greek. He insisted that Greek should be taught to the children at home, with persistence. “If we don’t maintain our Greek, who will pass it on?” he stated. He believes that there is an inherent wisdom to the Greek language that was given to the Greeks by God. His speech challenged every person in the room, to keep the Greek language and Greek culture alive. Dr. Chekwas currently teaches Greek to children in New York, and his dream is to have a Hellenic Center equipped with a library in every American city.
For the actual presentation, visit this youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i2AIb2c-E0
His book The Beauty of Feeling Greek is available on Amazon.com.